Croatia

France's law prohibiting "incitement to hatred" is itself an incitement to hatred.

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The European Union is Still Worth Celebrating

In a season of Euro-unhappiness, the continent's culture shows why the EU was a blessing

If only for the fall of cultural barriers. 

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Four years ago in Beijing, James Williams won a silver medal as a member of the United States’ Men’s Sabre team (sabre has quick slashing; what you probably picture as fencing more closely resembles the ripostes of épée and foil). This year in London, Williams additionally qualified for Men’s Individual, losing in the Round of 32 Saturday morning. Tomorrow, starting so-early-it-won’t-even-be-bright with a draw against top-seeded Russia, the Men’s Team competes.

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To anticipate Argentina versus Germany or Brazil versus Holland is to again hear World Cup history whisper ever more urgently as the tournament approaches its conclusion. The coaches and players will insist that such talk is nonsense; a distraction. The game must be won on the pitch in South Africa. Eleven against eleven. The future scripts are yet to be written. What's past is irrelevant.

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Discontents

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel High Line Pictures No One Knows About Persian Cats IFC Films “My business is to be talented,”Anton Chekhov wrote once to his publisher. He was explaining that his job was not to judge his characters but to vivify them, “to be able to illuminate the characters and speak their language.” A clear instance of this aim is in The Duel, his longest piece of fiction, written in 1891.

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Building Blocs

Monday marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is worth pausing to recall just how momentous, and unanticipated, this event and those that followed were. My students today have no memory of the cold war; to them, Prague and Budapest, just like Paris and Madrid, are simply places to visit or study in Europe.

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Books: The Whole Horror

  The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 By Saul Friedlander (HarperCollins, 870 pp., $39.95) With the publication of The Years of Extermination, Saul Friedlander adds to his already well-established reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust and of its place in modern European, German, and Jewish history.

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With God on Their Sides

The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia by Michael A. Sells (University of California Press, 244 pp., $19.95) The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia edited by Mark Pinson. (Harvard University Press, 207 pp., $14.95)   Was it genocide that occurred in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? Were the Serbs and the Croats who attacked the Muslims motivated mainly by religious nationalism?

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The Speculator

My strange road trip with George Soros.

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